Vault Secrets Management as-a-service

The as-a-service trend continues to grow in popularity in the security industry as companies look for agile and innovative ways to automate and optimize their workflows.

These trends have led to the rise of managed vault services as an alternative approach to managing security keys, SSH certificates, permissions, and other application credentials.

Why’s that? The answer is simple. Because these solutions leverage centralized, cloud-based platforms, they offer enhanced visibility into all aspects of your security processes.

But what are managed vaults? And why are they becoming so popular today?

What Is a Managed Vault Service?

Managed vaults incorporate encrypted traffic and increased security, often through secure design and coding principles as part of the software development lifecycle process. The cloud company handles tricky client processes at low or no cost to the consumer. Vault management typically includes the following services:

  • Data backups
  • Data restoration
  • Network redundancy
  • Auditing
  • Monitoring and controls
  • Scalability
  • Access controls and access control lists
  • Expert corporate support
  • Full visibility into application security processes

Who Should Use Managed Vault Services?

Managed vault services provide a lot of value to companies when it comes to simplifying the way they manage their secrets, keys, and other authentication credentials.

Here are just a few of the most popular use cases for managed vault services:

  • You have a growing team. Companies with many team members needing to access a vault can move quicker since they know where to look.
  • You don’t want to self-manage your secrets. Clients needing a location-independent vault management service may prefer to use a vault-as-a-service option to eliminate the need for on-prem hardware.
  • You need an easier way to provide access. In situations where you need to bypass mundane or tricky key management processes, managed vault services speed up the process to grant access.
  • You have limited or rudimentary knowledge of vault management. Sometimes you may lack cybersecurity expertise on your team. It’s far more prudent to transfer risk by enlisting a cloud service provider or cloud agnostic provider to manage a vault than to handle vault management in-house and on-site.

Secrets Vaults Work in DevOps: Understanding the Basics

DevOps combines information technology operations and software development to improve software development and deployment efficiency. 

Vault management is a critical part of DevOps, especially cloud computing. Storing vault secrets and secrets locally can delay DevOps processes, especially if multiple team members need access to the vault.

Typically, developers can access public, private, and hybrid cloud solutions offered by cloud service companies or third-party agnostic providers. The level and restriction of cloud server access depend on computational and service needs and pricing models. Private and hybrid servers are more expensive to access and use than public servers. 

Cloud vault management in DevOps provides developers with the ability to:

  • Program application programmable interfaces (APIs)
  • Authenticate users
  • Authorize users
  • Provide an additional level of database security for end-users

Secrets management for DevOps can improve DevOps efficiency and productivity. Developers will not need to have extensive knowledge regarding vaults and vault management to use them. Even junior developers and high-level project managers will only need to understand APIs to use vaults effectively.

What Are Vault Clusters?

Vault clusters refer to two or more nodes on a network. Nodes can be devices, printers, servers, or other forms of hardware. 

Vault clusters provide users with access to multiple vault resources on a network. Developers and others involved in DevOps can use vault clusters to program more efficiently or to meet deadlines quicker. 

Multiple team members on the same project can access vault clusters simultaneously. However, depending on the cloud service, each member may only access their cluster, and pair programming may not be possible.

Vault clusters are optimal for clients that require multiple cloud services hosted on multiple cloud platforms, or access to multiple applications simultaneously on the same network. Best practices bypass extensive or complicated processes by using cloud service provisions rather than complex local solutions. 

Local, physical clustering options can quickly become too expensive for smaller clients, or clients that are best served by cloud providers. Unless clients are well-versed in cluster management or require local solutions for contractual requirements, they are best served with cloud services.

What is Vault-as-a-Service?

Vault-as-a-Service refers to managed vault services on the cloud, which cloud service companies provide to B2B and B2C clients. Services rendered depend on the cloud provider and company, but at its most basic, cloud vault services provide clients with:

  • Increased administration and secrets management
  • Increased access and accessibility
  • Increased privacy compared to a local storage solution
  • Increased security compared to a local storage solution

Cloud vault services can improve client efficiency regarding secrets usage and retrieval and provide secure, low-cost cloud services on popular and trusted cloud providers like Amazon Web Services (AWS). 

Is Vault-as-a-Service (VaaS) Right for My Company?

Vault services are optimal for clients that want peace of mind and security. Cloud service providers can provide their expertise to handle vault services, more so than what typical clients can provide based on budgetary and staffing constraints.

Vault-as-a-Service cloud providers are optimal for clients that require all-in-one solutions. As-a-service models provide multiple functionalities typical for clients regarding service provision. Clients without in-house resources, staffing, or budgets to implement robust local solutions are best served with as-a-service solutions like Vault-as-a-Service.

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